LINCOLN — Mitch Ryan’s winning score of 67 at Thursday’s Capital City Invitational boys golf tournament almost was a 65.
The Millard North senior had a birdie putt lip out on the 18th hole at Highlands Golf Course, then missed the comeback putt for his only bogey of the round that tied his career low.
“On the range before the round, I was hitting it pretty shaky,’’ Ryan said. “But I birdied the first hole.”
While Ryan was winning by three strokes, Omaha Creighton Prep joined him as the favorites to win state titles when the Class A championship is held at Highlands in four weeks.
The Junior Jays posted a four-golfer score of 5-over-par 293 to win the 24-team, unofficial state preview tournament by nine strokes over Lincoln Southwest.
Carson Schaake led Prep with a 1-under 71 — there were six golfers in the field who bettered par 72 — and Stephen Pfeffer also got into the top 10 with a 73. Nick Kravchuk had 74, Andrew Hansen 75 and Nick Nemer 78 for the Junior Jays.
Ryan had four birdies and eagled the next-to-last hole to get to 6 under for the day.
“He’s not afraid to go low. He has such good course management,’’ Mustangs coach Tim Stednitz said. “In the van coming here, I told him to keep the ball below the pin and he did that really well.
“The last hole, he was in the rough off the tee and that was the first fairway he missed on the back nine.”
Ryan said the wind died down while he was hitting his approach shot on the par-4 18th, and that left him with a downhill putt.
It was his second win of the season, following a 5-under 67 on his home course, Platteview Country Club, at the Millard South tournament.
“Especially with this field, it means a lot to win,’’ Ryan said. “I can’t wait for state to be here.”
Team scoring: Omaha Creighton Prep 293, Lincoln SW 302, Bellevue West 303, Lincoln Pius X 304, Lincoln SE 305, Lincoln East 306, Papillion-La Vista South 309, Columbus 311, Omaha Burke 312, Kearney 314, Millard North 315, Omaha Westside 321, Papillion-LV 321, Fremont 324, Beatrice 325, Grand Island 328, Bellevue East 329, Norfolk 329, North Platte 335, Millard West 337, Millard South 349, Lincoln North Star 351, Lincoln NE 356, Lincoln High 374.
Individual leaders: 1, Mitch Ryan, MN, 67. 2, Matt Otten, Col., 70. 3, Zach Taylor, Bke., 71; 4, Greg Stanek, BW, 71. 5, Carson Schaake, CP, 71. 6, Garrett Moorehead, BW, 71. 7, Chet Wallace, K, 72. 8, Spencer Lindahl, LSE, 72. 9, Grant Schumacher, LPX, 73. 10, Stephen Pfeffer, CP, 73.
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